11-08-2011, 02:04 AM
Join Date: May 2011
Originally Posted by aelle
We talked about this too earlier in the thread. Really, you should read it.
It is very relevant in a society where women can be prosecuted for drinking while pregnant and incarcerated for falling down a flight of stairs.
Fetuses differ from born children by the fact that a fetus is entirely dependent on the woman's body for survival. The natural state of an embryo is not to develop into an autonomous child on its own. It is to die unless the host (a live woman with rights) carries on feeding it the right foods, keeping it at the right temperature, and generally limits her own choices for the sake of the fetus. The implication, as far as many pro-life activists are concerned, is that the woman is responsible -nay, guilty- if she loses her pregnancy -nay, kills her baby- regardless of intent. That she should watch her every action and limit her every move for the sake of her embryo.
Consider the following "infanticides":
You fall down a flight of stairs while pregnant. Should you be prosecuted for child endangerment? Should women's right to use stairs be limited during their pregnancy, just in case?
You order sushi while looking pregnant. Can the chef be prosecuted if he fails to refuse service, for lacking to his duty to rescue? Should he have requested a urine test before refusing service?
You drive your car in the ditch while pregnant and lose your pregnancy. Should you be charged for involuntary manslaughter?
You go to the sauna while sexually active. Are you acting irresponsibly towards your children who may or may not have been conceived, yet are undetectable at the time?
Do you see how absurd giving zygotes legal personhood is, and how much criminalizing the loss of a pregnancy limits women's bodily autonomy and right to privacy?
Some women in America have already faced charges: Outcry in America as pregnant women who lose babies face murder charges | World news | The Guardian
This has gone way, way too far.
An excerpt: Rennie Gibbs is accused of murder, but the crime she is alleged to have committed does not sound like an ordinary killing. Yet she faces life in prison in Mississippi over the death of her unborn child.
Gibbs became pregnant aged 15, but lost the baby in December 2006 in a stillbirth when she was 36 weeks into the pregnancy. When prosecutors discovered that she had a cocaine habit – though there is no evidence that drug abuse had anything to do with the baby's death – they charged her with the "depraved-heart murder" of her child, which carries a mandatory life sentence.